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The Walmart juggernaut

Walmart
A busy Friday night, decades ago. Photo: Steve Liss/LIFE/Getty

As Amazon's market power has sunk big box stores left and right, Walmart seemed next in line for a big hit. But the 56-year-old legacy retailer has been surprisingly nimble as it stares down the formidable everything store.

Driving the news: Walmart today easily beat earnings expectations for Q4 of 2018, giving its stock a 5% boost at one stage. The company reported a whopping 43% year-over-year increase in online sales — for the second quarter in a row.

Backdrop: When Walmart and its big box peers were struggling to compete with Amazon, Walmart took risks by pouring money into sprucing up its stores and spending big to acquire Jet.com, the e-commerce business.

  • The company took a temporary hit to invest in itself, says Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail. And now it's paying off.

What's next: In a note to investors, Moody's analyst Charlie O'Shea said he expects Walmart to keep dominating retail in 2019. The company will "continue to flex its muscle across multiple product categories," he said.

Go deeper: Walmart, the anti-Amazon